Shane Rimmer

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Shane Rimmer
Born (1929-05-28) 28 May 1929 (age 89)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
ResidencePotters Bar, Hertfordshire, England
OccupationActor, Screenwriter
Years active1958–2012
TelevisionThunderbirds (1965–1966)

Shane Rimmer (born 28 May 1929)[1] is a Canadian actor, voice actor and screenwriter, known for providing the voice of Scott Tracy in the British television series Thunderbirds (1965–1966).



Rimmer has appeared mainly in supporting roles, especially in films and television series produced in the United Kingdom. He emigrated to England in the late 1950s, initially performing as a cabaret singer and then auditioning for Thunderbirds.[2][3]

His appearances include roles in films such as Dr. Strangelove (1964), Rollerball (1975), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Gandhi (1982), Out of Africa (1985) and Crusoe (1989). More recently, he has appeared in Spy Game (2001) and Batman Begins (2005).[4]

In the earlier years of his career, Rimmer appeared uncredited in, among other films, You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Star Wars (1977) and Superman II (1980). With the exception of cast members playing recurring characters, he has appeared in more James Bond films than any other actor. He also is believed to have provided the voice for the character Hamilton (played by Robert Dix) in 1973's Live and Let Die ("Whose, uh, funeral is it?" – "Yours").[5]


Rimmer had a long-running association with TV producer Gerry Anderson, most notably for the 1964-66 series Thunderbirds. He was the voice actor behind the character of Scott Tracy.[6] He drafted the story for the series' penultimate episode, "Ricochet" (1966), from which writer Tony Barwick penned a script. Rimmer thought the studio rates for voices in those days were "absolutely deplorable". Years after working on Thunderbirds, Rimmer, along with fellow Anderson associate Matt Zimmerman, got a solicitor. They informed him of the sort of money they got, and the solicitor then got Rimmer and Zimmerman an immense raise in the residuals.[7]

He also wrote scripts and provided uncredited voices for Anderson's subsequent Supermarionation productions Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967–68), Joe 90 (1968–69) and The Secret Service (1969), appeared in episodes of the live-action series UFO (1970) and The Protectors (1972–74), provided voices for Space: 1999 (1975–77), and guest-starred in one of its episodes, "Space Brain" (1976). Later, he appeared in the un-televised 1986 pilot Space Police (which was adapted as a full TV series and renamed Space Precinct in the 1990s, though Ted Shackleford replaced Rimmer for the series) and provided the voice of the title character in Dick Spanner, P.I. (1987).

Rimmer and American actor Ed Bishop—himself an Anderson associate–would joke about how their professional paths frequently crossed, calling themselves "Rent-a-Yanks". They appeared together as United States Navy sailors in The Bedford Incident (1965) and as NASA technicians in the opening of You Only Live Twice (1967), as well as touring together on stage, including a production of Death of a Salesman in the 1990s.[8][9][10] Rimmer and Bishop also appeared in the BBC drama-documentary Hiroshima, which was completed shortly after Bishop's death in 2005.[11]

Other work[edit]

Rimmer appeared once in Doctor Who (in the 1966 serial The Gunfighters), and twice in Coronation Street: as Joe Donnelli (from 1968 to 1970), who held Stan Ogden hostage before taking his own life, and Malcolm Reid (in 1988), the father of Audrey Roberts' son Stephen.[12] He has made many guest appearances in British TV series for ITV, including Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, as well as ITC's The Persuaders! In 1980, Rimmer played Edward Condon in the BBC mini-series Oppenheimer, which was rebroadcast in the United States in 1982, and appeared in the 1984 miniseries Master of the Game, opposite Dyan Cannon.[13][14]

In 1989, Rimmer was reunited with Bishop and Zimmerman during the production of a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study In Scarlet.[15] In 2012, he recorded a reading of Donald Cotton's Doctor Who novelisation of The Gunfighters for release in February 2013.[16]

In 2010, Rimmer returned to the world of Thunderbirds with a 15-minute fan movie simply entitled Thunderbirds 2010. He portrays Jeff Tracy in a voiceover on Thunderbird 3's radio, towards the end of the movie, instructing Scott and Alan to take the three astronauts they rescued in the movie to an intact space station, and return to Tracy Island in anticipation of a storm in the Pacific.

Rimmer played the role of Leo Carlin in the 2013 audio drama The Mighty Carlins by award-winning Canadian playwright Collin Doyle. The recording was produced by Wireless Theatre Company.[17]

In 2014, Rimmer released his first fiction novel Long Shot, through This marked his second foray into publishing, having released his autobiography From Thunderbirds to Pterodactyls four years previously.[18]

In 2015, he played the role of "Anderson" in the science fiction short DARKWAVE: Edge of the Storm; this was released for free online the following year.[19]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Thunderbirds Are Go as Scott Tracy Actor Shane Rimmer Launches Autobiography". The Times (Hendon & Finchley, Barnet & Potters Bar, Edgware & Mill Hill). Newsquest. 18 October 2010. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Shane Rimmer - home".
  3. ^ Interview on YouTube
  4. ^ "Shane Rimmer".
  5. ^ DVD commentary for Live and Let Die
  6. ^ "With Shane Rimmer - the voice of Thunderbirds Scott Tracy, Roberto Perrone - BBC Three Counties Radio". BBC.
  7. ^ Thunderbirds: A Complete Guide to the Classic Series
  8. ^ "The Bedford Incident (1965)".
  9. ^ "You Only Live Twice (1967)".
  10. ^ Wolf, Matt (11 November 1996). "Death of a Salesman".
  11. ^ "Hiroshima (2005)".
  12. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Gunfighters - Details".
  13. ^ "Oppenheimer Part 3 (1980)".
  14. ^ "Shane Rimmer - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  15. ^ "The Country of the Saints, A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes - BBC Radio 4 Extra". BBC.
  16. ^ "Formats and Editions of Doctor Who. The gunfighters []".
  17. ^ "Radio review: The Mighty Carlins; Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear - TV & radio - The Stage". 22 July 2013.
  18. ^ "Shane Rimmer - Gerry Anderson News". Gerry Anderson News.
  19. ^

External links[edit]